TIA Is Part of D.C. Lobbying Effort
Sports industry leaders, executives, and celebrity athletes took to Capitol Hill on March 10 to “Get America Moving” by lobbying members of Congress to support the Carol M. White Physical Education Program and the Personal Health Investment Today Act for fiscal year 2011. The Tennis Industry Association was a sponsor of the annual event.
For the past 10 years the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA) has hosted 100+ Industry Executives, 20+ Sports Celebrities, 40+ Sponsoring Companies, and Physical Education Professionals in Washington to promote a more active and healthier lifestyle for Americans, especially for children. Included in the delegation of SGMA participants were TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer and Project Coordinator Ryan Melton.
SGMA participants held meetings with members of Congress to discuss the benefits of how living a healthier lifestyle can improve one’s quality of life, reduce the nation’s total healthcare costs, and even improve academic performance among children in schools. Without the necessary funding that the White Act proposes, schools across the U.S. cannot promote a healthy lifestyle for children via physical education programs.
SSI, Zalatoris to Bring New Mantis Sport to U.S.
Mantis Sport, a year-old racquet sports brand based in the U.K. and founded by former Dunlop Global Head of Products Martin Aldridge, has signed a multi-year agreement that makes Sport Source International the exclusive U.S. distributor for the brand. Mantis has developed a range of strings (Comfort Polyester, Power Polyester, Comfort Synthetic, and Power Synthetic) and grips (Performa Tac) and will be launching additional products for both tennis and squash in the second half of the year.
Sport Source International is headed by industry veteran Paul Zalatoris, who has spent more than 20 years in the business, working with Wilson, Tecnifibre and Balle de Match. Sports Source International also is manufacturing a range of tennis clothing geared for team competition under his own brand — SSI Tennis.
“Martin has great product development knowledge within the tennis industry and has worked with top touring players, coaches and professional tour stringers,” says Zalatoris. “He’s developed new strings and a grip that are getting superior feedback. I’m excited about the opportunity to develop this new brand for the U.S. market, which is ready for something new that is of high quality and good value”.
For information about Mantis and its products, contact Zalatoris at firstname.lastname@example.org or 630-325-6600, or visit Mantis-Sport.com.
PGA Tour Superstore Hires Tennis Industry Veteran
PGA Tour Superstore recently hired retail veteran Tiffany Grayson to head up its tennis division as part of a company-wide initiative to focus on tennis. Grayson, who previously owned and operated Coach Matt’s Tennis & More in the Atlanta area, will manage all aspects of the tennis business including buying, merchandising, in-store tennis services, marketing, sales and grassroots partnerships.
“Our plan is to reintroduce PGA Tour Superstore as a force in the tennis industry,” she says. The stores will introduce new product assortments and a tennis Preferred Plus Player’s Club in May as part of its re-branding.
“Customers who shop at PGA Tour Superstore will be offered a tennis experience unlike any other retailer in town,” Grayson adds. With tennis courts in most stores, expert tennis pros and stringers on site, and a wide selection of tennis apparel, footwear and racquets, our company is a one-stop shop.”
The company opened its 10th store in December and now has stores in Atlanta, Dallas, Myrtle Beach, S.C., Phoenix, and Naples, Fla.
USPTA Offers Tennis Across America
May 8 is the USPTA’s 21st annual Tennis Across America Day. Teaching pros will provide learning opportunities for people eager to play by offering free Tennis Across America clinics in more than 350 cities, and then provide follow-up programming.
Established in 1990 by the USPTA, Tennis Across America is a free grassroots lesson program, with the goal of getting people out on the courts. A multicultural segment was added later with the goal of reaching various communities and potential players who have special needs and may not otherwise have the opportunity to play. People getting their first taste of tennis will learn the basics to get started, find out how to improve and reap the benefits of a calorie-burning workout.
The Tennis Across America program consists of three major elements. First, free clinics are held at public and private facilities around the nation. Second, multicultural clinics introduce the sport to various groups and give everyone the opportunity to experience tennis. Third, follow-up programs are created to provide players with an opportunity to pursue their new enthusiasm for tennis.
While Tennis Across America Day will officially be celebrated May 8, it is not limited to just that day. More than 1,500 USPTA professionals and recreational coaches, along with volunteers, offer free clinics to the public throughout the spring and summer months. Clinics can be directed toward adults, children or both, and may include new, current and former players returning to the game. Professionals usually schedule clinics to coincide with the start of entry-level lesson programs. For information, visit uspta.com.
Nova Sports Provides Lithuania Davis Cup Surface
Nova Sports USA Inc. provided the acrylic surfacing for the first-round Davis Cup match between Great Britain and Lithuania in March. More than 2,500 spectators watched Lithuania’s team upset Great Britain at the newly constructed SEB Arena in Vilnius. The arena is Eastern Europe’s largest tennis complex and has hosted two Davis Cup matches in the first 18 months of its opening. Davis Cup organizers gave the facility top marks including the highest rating to the tennis center’s 19 Ultracushion® courts. For more on Nova Sports USA tournaments or the Novacrylic Sport Surface system, contact email@example.com or 1-800-USA-NOVA.
USTA Honors Award Winners at Annual Meeting
The USTA recognized individuals and organizations for their commitment to growing the game at its annual meeting in March in Dallas.
- Seniors’ Service Award: Kathy Langer, Rockwall, Texas
- Brad Parks Award: Bill Hammett, Dallas
- Member Organization of the Year Award: Seminole County Leisure Services Department, Sanford, Fla.
- Ralph W. Westcott USTA Family of the Year Award: The Joe and Cindy Walz Family, Aitkin, Minn.
- Bill Talbert Junior Sportsmanship Award: Shaun Chaudhuri, Pleasanton, Calif.; Neil Karandikar, Belle Meade, N.J.; Marc Powers, Stamford, Conn.; Caroline Price, Duluth, Ga.
PTR Tennis Club & Facility Conference May 19-21
The PTR’s Tennis Club and Facility Conference will be May 19-21 at PTR Headquarters on Hilton Head Island, S.C. The three-day event is designed for tennis club owners, club managers and directors of tennis.
Presentations and sessions will deal with topics such as customer service, programming, innovative ideas, marketing, controlling energy costs, managing staff, creating and improving your website, and more.
The program starts at 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 19, and runs through 5 p.m. May 21. The cost, $349 before May 1, $399 after, includes all workshops, meals and social activities. Additional attendees from the same club are $299 each. For information or registration, call 800-421-6289 or visit ptrtennis.org
Nominate for the Tennis Industry Hall of Fame
Nominations are now being accepted for the 2010 Tennis Industry Hall of Fame, which recognizes those individuals who have made a significant impact on the sport, from the 1960s to the present. The final inductees will be honored in New York City, just before the start of the US Open during the USTA Tennis Teachers Conference.
Nominations, which are due by June 15, can be made in four categories — inventors, founders, innovators and contributors — by visiting http://tennisindustry.org/HOF/. The Tennis Industry Hall of Fame was created in 2008. The first two inductees were Dennis Van der Meer and the late Howard Head. Last year, Alan Schwartz was the sole inductee.
Cleantech Solutions Lighting Offers Energy Savings
Cleantech Solutions has pioneered a hybrid direct-indirect lighting system that reduces energy use by 55 percent to 70 percent while dramatically improving light levels and quality, says the company. Cleantech custom engineers its solutions to meet the unique needs of each facility. Direct lighting brilliantly illuminates the playing surface while the indirect lighting ensures the ceiling is bright and the tennis balls are always well lit and easy to track.
The photo shows the Cleantech Solutions energy-efficient lighting installation in Denver, and the difference between the two front courts and the courts that still have the old lighting. Once this job was completed, there was a nearly 100 percent increase in light levels, with more than 60 percent energy savings, says Cleantech.
Cleantech Solutions is an energy services company that focuses on energy efficiency solutions for athletics facilities businesses, educational institutions and municipalities. The company offers a free energy usage evaluation. Call 303-495-3442 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Prince to Sponsor Stringing Contest at GSS Event
Prince Sports will once again sponsor the GSS Racquet Stringers Symposium, which will be held Oct. 9-13 in Orlando, Fla. Prince staged the first “Fastest Stringer” contest at last year’s symposium and the company plans to host the popular contest again in 2010.
“Symposium founder and director Tim Strawn organizes an incredibly informative and fun event that brings together the most knowledgeable and talented stringers in the industry,” says Dave Malinowski, global product manager for String, Grips and Accessories at Prince. “We are excited to host the Fastest Stringers Contest, have some fun, and connect with a group of folks that agrees with the fact that strings truly are the most important part of a player’s equipment.”
“Prince has been a dominant force in the racquet sports industry for many years and GSS is very appreciative of their support of the symposium,” says Strawn. For details or to register for the 2010 GSS Symposium, visit gssalliance.com.
Djokovic vs. Tennis Machine
Tennis fans have a chance to see world No. 2 Novak Djokovic off court in a new video by Head for “The Power of You” campaign. The video shows an experiment with tennis balls and Head Speed racquets, where an astonishing chain reaction is unexpectedly created, to the surprise of Djokovic and his team.
Viewers can visit head.com/experiment and watch Djokovic’s experiment take place on several online platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Fans will also have the opportunity to view the exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and making of the production.
Three Honored by Hall of Fame
The International Tennis Hall of Fame presented the 2009 Samuel Hardy and Tennis Educational Merit Awards on March 20 during the Hall of Fame Annual Awards Luncheon, held in Dallas in conjunction with the USTA’s Annual Meeting. Jane Brown Grimes of Chadds Ford, Pa., received the Samuel Hardy Award and Dr. Steve Wilkinson of St. Peter, Minn., and Dr. W. Ben Kibler of Lexington, Ky., received the Tennis Educational Merit Award.
“We are very pleased to recognize these individuals who have made such great contributions to tennis over the years,” said Christopher Clouser, chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
For more information on the awards and on the nomination process, contact the International Tennis Hall of Fame at 401-849-3990.
- Prince sponsored the 43rd annual Easter Bowl Junior Tennis Tournament, held in April in Rancho Mirage, Calif. “Grassroots and junior development have always played an important role in Prince’s success and have been paramount in how we have grown the brand since our inception 40 years ago,” says Max Brownlee, v.p. of promotions at Prince.
- New Chapter Press has released the newly-updated memoir of Australian tennis legend Rod Laver, “The Education of a Tennis Player.” Written with Hall of Fame journalist and historian Bud Collins, the book is Laver’s first-hand account of his famous 1969 Grand Slam season. Laver also writes about his childhood and early days in tennis. Originally published in 1971, the book ($19.95, www.New-ChapterMedia.com) was updated by Laver and Collins with new content including his recovery from a near-fatal stroke in 1998.
- Acura is the official automobile of the World TeamTennis Pro League and will be present at all 73 WTT matches scheduled from July 5 to 25 in 10 venues across the country. This is the 35th season of the coed League co-founded by Billie Jean King. To kick-off the sponsorship, King was in the Acura booth at the New York International Auto Show in April.
- Dunlop Sports Group returned this year as the official ball and racquet of the Family Circle Cup, which was held in April. The balls used for the Charleston, S.C., event were produced in the same production run as the Dunlop balls to be used at the French Open. Dunlop also sponsored a contest to win a trip for two to the 2010 French Open.
- The USTA Southern Section is partnering with Adidas to create a new team store for USTA Southern tennis teams, no matter which program they play in. The section and Adidas will work with Team Connection, an online commerce site, to offer discounts for USTA Southern tennis teams on apparel, shoes and other items. Adidas has been named an official sponsor of USTA Southern and official outfitter of USTA Southern Junior competitive teams in 2010.
- The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum has announced an open call for nominations for the Induction Class of 2011. Nominations can be submitted online at www.tennisfame.com.
- The LA Tennis Open recently announced a new partnership with the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education. To mark the beginning of the partnership, and support the Foundation’s efforts, Agassi will play John McEnroe in a special one-night exhibition at the LA Tennis Center on July 24. Proceeds from the match will benefit AAFE, which operates the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy in Las Vegas, a K-12 public charter school.
- The USPTA has redesigned its tennis-health.com site. The interactive website supports the “Tennis — for the health of it!” initiative, which targets teaching pros, tennis consumers, health-care professionals, and non-tennis playing consumers. The upgraded site includes feature articles and videos and a blog on “tennis and your health” featuring Dr. Jack Groppel.
Upcoming Industry Schedule
- May 13: USPTA Southern Division Convention, TBD
- May 17: USPTA Eastern Division Convention, Flushing, NY
- May 19: PTR Professional Development Weekend/Tennis Club & Facility Managers Conference, Hilton Head Island, SC
- June 1: USPTA Florida Division Convention, Key Largo, FL
- June 3: USPTA Pacific Northwest Division Convention, Richland, WA
- Our Racquet Map in the April issue listed Pacific contact information as incorrect. The correct website and phone number for Pacific is (941) 795-1789, pacific.com
- Our April issue listed our long time members, and we left out 30+ year members John Zednic and Tom Parry.
Competition Athletic Installs Indoor Surface at Miss. St.
It’s tough to compete in your league’s indoor tennis season when you don’t have a dedicated indoor tennis facility. But that’s the position Mississippi State coach Per Nilsson found himself in last year.
When the Bulldogs moved indoors to McCarthy Gym for the winter, they had to compete for time and space with the university’s robotics and physical education programs. As if that competitive disadvantage wasn’t enough, the retrofitted multi-purpose rubberized floor made the bounce of the tennis ball anything but true.
Nilsson convinced the university to give him exclusive use of the former basketball arena if he paid to have the floor resurfaced. He called on Competition Athletic Surfaces of Chattanooga, Tenn., the company that had installed his outdoor tennis surface two years earlier. Company President Lee Murray worked with a couple of manufacturers to find a surface that would adhere to the rubberized surface already in place. Murray felt the PlexiPave PG system by California Products would work best. In December, CAS installed a few test areas and invited the tennis team in to “kick, scuff, rub, slide and abuse it every way they could,” Murray says. The surface passed muster, and in January CAS installed the rest of the floor.
“Like many old buildings, this one had accessibility issues, so we had to shuttle all our materials and equipment down a 40-foot corridor. The old rubber floor was so slick that we found we couldn’t apply the new surface in the standard manner using a squeegee. So we devised a way to spray it on instead,” says Murray. But despite this, the surface was ready for play in time for the beginning of the indoor season.
“As more and more buildings and courts are being adaptively re-used, this kind of creative thinking is going to become increasingly important,” says Murray. Visit competitionathleticsurfaces.com for more information.
PTR Signs Three New Corporate Members
The PTR announced that the Institute of Sport Science for Tennis (ISST), Tennis Business Solutions and Tennissmith have signed on as Corporate Members.
ISST (isportscience.com) specializes in improved visual focus and faster anticipation using eye tracking technology, and practical mental skills training and education for match improvement. PTR members receive a 10% discount on all ISST products and services. Tennis Business Solutions (tennisbusinesssolutions.com or 770-497-1705) is a marketing tennis specialty software company that also offers business consulting for tennis clubs. Tennissmith, Tennis Intelligence Applied (tennissmith.com) is a new educational program by Steve Smith, a 31-year PTR member, designed to assist players, parents and teaching pros. The initial phase has 25 user-friendly hours, covering all aspects of the game with 365 visual clips that average less than five minutes each.
- Don Lang recently was named Fila’s 2009 Specialty Sales Representative of the Year. Lang is the company’s rep in Florida.
- Spanish star Fernando Verdasco has signed with Dunlop for racquets, strings and accessories. Also, Nikolay Davydenko signed with Dunlop for racquets, clothing and accessories.
- Master Racquet Technician Tim Strawn will present a seminar at the Methodist University (Fayetteville, N.C.) Professional Tennis Management Program on May 1, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event, sponsored by Babolat, is $50 and includes lunch and a set of Babolat Natural Gut string. For info, contact Ben Porter at 910-630 7484 or email@example.com.
- Ivan Ljubicic hammered 21 aces with his Head YouTek Extreme Pro to defeat Andy Roddick and win the title at Indian Wells in March.
- Well-respected tennis expert Dr. E. Paul Roetert is the new CEO for the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD). He had been with the USTA for 19 years, most recently as managing director of Player Development.
- The 2010 World TeamTennis Pro League season will be highlighted by head-to-head matches between five former and current world No. 1 players — Martina Hingis, Venus Williams, Kim Clijsters, Lindsay Davenport and current world No. 1 Serena Williams — during the 3-week season, which starts July 5.
- Deborah Slaner Larkin is the new executive director of USTA Serves – Foundation for Academics. Character. Excellence., the philanthropic and charitable entity of the USTA.
- Cliff Richey, the former No. 1-ranked American tennis player and hero of the 1970 championship U.S. Davis Cup team, admits in a new book his continued use of drugs and a life largely lived suffering from depression. The book, “Acing Depression: A Champion’s Toughest Match,” is from New Chapter Press (www.newchaptermedia.com).
- Heinz Grimm of Switzerland is the 2010 recipient of the Golden Achievement Award, given jointly by the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the International Tennis Federation. It is presented annually to individuals who have made important contributions internationally to tennis in the fields of administration, promotion or education, and have devoted long and outstanding service to the sport.
Boris Becker Tennis Adds 4 Frames, New String
The Boris Becker Tennis brand has introduced four new racquets — DeltaCore Power, DeltaCore Sportster, DeltaCore Pro and Junior Legend.
The DeltaCore Power racquet, for players looking for lighter weight but with the stability and power of a heavier frame, features the new Double Rail Technology (DRT) and DeltaCore. The manufacturer says DRT, at the 3 and 9 o’clock frame positions, consists of two braces that strengthen the racquet to help prevent it from twisting, and that, when combined with DeltaCore (carbon nanotubes) creates an “arm-friendly” hit. The 9.7-ounce frame has a 110-square-inch head and a 16 × 19 string pattern.
The DC Sportster, says the company, provides stability and maneuverability, along with a solid feel. It’s 10.4 ounces with a 102-square-inch head and 16 × 19 pattern.
The DeltaCore Pro is designed for intermediate through professional players, who like to hit with pace and spin. It has a 10.8-ounce weight, 100-square-inch head and 16 × 18 string pattern.
Boris Becker brand also has strings available, including the BB Hero Natural Gut (available in 16L gauge), BB Bomber (17 and 16 gauge), and BB Hybrid, which combines 16L BB Hero and 17 BB Bomber.
For more information, contact 866-554-7872 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Klip America is the U.S. distributor for the Boris Becker brand.
Atlanta, Stanford to Host US Open National Playoffs
The inaugural US Open National Playoffs–Men’s and Women’s Championships will be played at the first men’s and women’s tournaments of the 2010 Olympus US Open Series. The Atlanta Athletic Club will host the US Open National Playoffs–Men’s Championship, July 22-25, during the Atlanta Tennis Championships. The Taube Family Tennis Stadium at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., will host the Women’s Championship, July 29-Aug. 1, during the Bank of the West Classic.
In January, the USTA announced the launch of the US Open National Playoffs, which will provide the opportunity for all players 14 years of age and older to earn a wild card into the 2010 US Open Qualifying Tournament. The US Open National Playoffs begins with 16 men’s and women’s sectional qualifying tournaments held throughout the country from April through June. The men’s and women’s champions from each of the sectional qualifying tournaments advance to the US Open National Playoffs.
Participants can be of any playing level. Entry fee for each of the sectional qualifying tournaments is $125. Entry information and a schedule of US Open National Playoffs Sectional Qualifying Tournaments are available at usopen.org.
USTA Acquires Rights to Nonprofit ‘First Serve’
The USTA has acquired all rights to First Serve, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, and its programs, including the First Serve Life Skills Curriculum and the First Serve National Student Athlete Competition. These programs will join the Arthur Ashe Essay Contest and Tennis Leadership Camp to help strengthen the NJTL menu of educational offerings and enhance the USTA’s ability to build the brand and seek outside investment.
Ashaway Introduces UltraKill 17 R-Ball String
Ashaway has introduced UltraKill® 17, the first of a new line of Zyex-based racquetball strings. Built on a new multifilament core, UltraKill 17 is designed to provide amateur and professional players with a strong, durable string with both power and ball control. The braided surface maximizes control and increases spin while the Zyex® multifilament core prevents tension loss for more consistent performance throughout the life of the string, says the company.
According to Ashaway Vice President Steve Crandall, recent advances in technology have produced Zyex filaments that are even finer and stronger than before. “We’re now able to produce thinner, stronger, lighter-weight strings which provide superior feel, more power, and improved ball control, yet still offer the well-known Zyex playing characteristics and tension-holding properties,” he says.
UltraKill 17 is available in 40-foot sets and 360-foot reels. Recommended stringing tension is up to 40 lbs. Ashaway suggests using 10–20% less tension than normally used for standard nylon strings. Visit ashawayusa.com or email email@example.com.
Do You Know a Young Mover & Shaker?
Early in 2011, we’d like to do a special “30 Under 30” section in RSI, and we’d like your suggestions on who in this industry we should consider. Please help us identify those industry “players,” under 30 years old, who are doing great things and have a bright future in the tennis business. Email your suggestions, with a brief explanation of why you think this young person fits the bill, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put “30 under 30” in the subject line.